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Manufacturing Minute: Deep-Sea Bacteria Neutralizes Greenhouse Gases

In this episode, deep-sea bacteria that negates carbon emissions.

Researchers from the University of Florida might have found an unusual ally in the fight against climate change.

The thiomicrospira crunogena is a type of bacteria that lives far beneath the ocean's surface.

It produces carbonic anhydrase, an enzyme that reacts with carbon dioxide and converts it into bicarbonate, which can then be processed into baking soda, chalk and other products.

Because the bacteria live near hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, scientists also say they're accustomed to high temperatures — perfect for surviving near the gases emanating from power plants or other industrial facilities.

Scientists can create the bacteria in a lab instead of repeatedly venturing to the sea floor, but deploying the microbe at an industrial scale will be a much greater challenge.

It also isn't the most efficient process, which means that researchers will likely need to come up with a more fast-acting enzyme.


Will these hurdles prove to be too great, or could this bacteria eventually help curb carbon emissions?

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